Shopping and Acquiring

In the Clearing Clutter Support Group that I facilitate the first few weeks of homework consists of paying attention to what you acquire over the week. Inevitably, participants get confused about this exercise and question what they find themselves bringing home and whether it is a good thing or not. It really depends on whether what you purchase, have given to you or is found on the street is brought into your home as a conscious decision or an unconscious decision.

If you find yourself shopping when you didn’t plan to maybe because you had a hard day and you feel like you deserve to treat yourself.  You want to do something that makes you feel better and you think “I will just pop into this store and look around for a bit.” Before you know it you find yourself buying things just because they are shiny or on sale or its too good of a deal to pass up or so and so would like this, etc ……..well you know the drill.

We have all been there. However, when you get home you start to feel overwhelmed about where are you going to put this, have regrets or start thinking about the balance in your bank account then likely you are not coming from a conscious place.

The goal is not to never go shopping again. This, of course, is not realistic as we need to buy food and other things at different times. Shopping is also a pastime and something that we do with our friends and loved ones. So it is about having an awareness of what we are doing with our time, our money and our actions. There are always going to be temptations out there and it is the job of retail businesses to make their merchandise look as appealing as possible in the hopes that we will be allured into purchasing.  Sometimes these are impulsive purchases which do not serve us in the end.

Can you make a conscious effort to pay attention to what you acquire over the week? How challenging is it for you not to acquire or go shopping? Sometimes these activities need to be replaced with other activities that are healthier. When you need to nurture yourself, what can you do instead? It is difficult to change habits, so be kind to yourself and take one moment at a time.

About Kim

I’m Kim, your go-to Professional Organizer and Virtual Coach! I’m beyond excited to embark on this clutter-free adventure with you. With a background in mental health and a passion for transforming spaces, I bring a holistic approach to decluttering. It’s not just about neatening up physical spaces; it’s about fostering a mindset shift that radiates throughout your life. I founded Space For You Clear the Clutter, Heal Your Life and have been working with individuals and groups for about 15 years. I've also trained with Professional Organizers of Canada and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.
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8 Responses to Shopping and Acquiring

  1. This is so true! I have been involved in a situation with someone who incurred tremendous debt because of online shopping. That is just too convenient. She stumbled into online credit operations which were basically loan sharks. It was clearly an addiction and it caused a lot of pain. She still struggles, although the immediate crisis was addressed. I applaud your efforts to support those in this situation!

    • Kim says:

      Hi Seana, Yes, online shopping can be just a little too tempting for some of us. This almost always comes up in the group. It can be about a pastime or finding that amazing deal or bargain. Participants talk about online sites where they bid on items, Kijiji, Amazon and Wayfair, etc. and Marketplace on Facebook. It is just too easy to have that immediate gratification and then what…..

  2. I love this, Kim! I had a client who shopped for friends and loved ones – never for herself. She would buy school supplies, clothes, and little gifty things that were at first stashed in one room and then in many places around her house. The problem was that she never actually gave these gifts to their intended recipients. This problem has been addressed. Interesting, though. The reasons to shop..

    • Kim says:

      Hi Diane, Yes I have seen this myself. People have good intentions but when it comes right down to it perhaps it is hard to let go of the items. I wonder if this person felt better about buying for others and not herself? Also, the gifts or items may be hard to find for that perfect person or occasion. So great when this problem can be addressed and sorted out. Thanks for your comment.

  3. I agree. This is an issue for people who are not chronically disorganized as well. I preach that your commitment to the environment starts at the point of purchase, not once it’s in your home.

    • Kim says:

      That is so true Janet. Being in the moment at that point of purchase is so very important and helpful. I am so much more discerning about what I purchase and bring into my home than I used to be. Packaging of items is a huge concern for all of us at this time in the world. No real easy answers.

  4. Do you know of Dr. April Lane Benson? I met her years ago at a NAPO-NY meeting when she spoke to our group about overshopping addiction. I remember her saying that it was harder to stop that addiction than it was to stop drinking. Partly she says it’s because shopping is so acceptable. However, it’s a severe addiction. And when it’s causing financial hardship, space or storage issues, or challenges with self-esteem and relationships, it’s an excellent time to reach out for help. It’s terrific that your group supports those that are struggling.

    • Kim says:

      Thank you Linda. Yes, shopping can be such a serious addiction and people often need some help to be able to stop or to get a handle on it. I checked out Dr April Lane Benson. Interesting! and she has a book as well. Good to know for those who are struggling.

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